Laboratory glassware refers to a variety of equipment, traditionally made of glass, used for scientific experiments and other work in science, especially in chemistry and biology laboratories. Some of the equipment is now made of plastic for cost, ruggedness, and convenience reasons, but glass is still used for some applications because it is relatively inert, transparent, more heat-resistant than some plastics up to a point, and relatively easy to customize. Borosilicate glasses are often used because they are less subject to thermal stress and are common for reagent bottles. For some applications quartz glass is used for its ability to withstand high temperatures or its transparency in certain parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. In other applications, especially some storage bottles, darkened brown or amber (actinic) glass is used to keep out much of the UV and IR radiation so that the effect of light on the contents is minimized. Special-purpose materials are also used; for example, hydrofluoric acid is stored and used in polyethylene containers because it reacts with glass. For pressurized reaction, heavy-wall glass is used for pressure reactor.
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